The Gym Owners Blog/Podcast/When OPTIMIZATION goes WRONG


Friday, February 02, 2024



gym, people, coach, business, owners, optimized, put, jujitsu, sales, deadlift, good, teach, client, matters, system, sell, john, line


  • Optimizing business for profitability and success. (0:01)
  • Ethical sales tactics in the fitness industry. (4:07)
  • Sales tactics in the fitness industry. (9:18)
  • Business systems and standardization. (14:50)
  • Car dealership pricing and customer frustration. (19:14)
  • Business priorities and sales strategies in the car and fitness industries. (24:15)
  • Work-life balance and sales strategies in a physical therapy clinic. (28:02)
  • Fitness coaching and programming. (31:35)
  • Dogmatic coaching in martial arts. (37:22)
  • BJJ teaching methods and retention rates. (41:41)
  • Prioritizing fun in martial arts training. (47:43)
  • Fitness workshops and deadlifting. (52:32)
  • Business growth for gym owners. (55:59)


Tyler 00:01

Welcome back to the gym owners podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm your host Tyler Stone over there, John Fairbanks. How's it going? John?

John Fairbanks 00:06

is going, it's going chilly Kyler

Tyler 00:10

Don't even start with me here. It's cold here. So this week, guys, we're gonna get into some Well, balanced conversations. I guess a lot of the things that we teach, especially in business, are about balancing profitability for your brand competitive pricing, like what do we really need to optimize for within your business? And this is a bit of an extension conversation we had with DJ a couple of weeks back. Well, if you're hearing it now, it's a few weeks back, because I think there's some episodes in between. But yeah, what are you optimizing for, because some of the things if you, you chase the wrong metrics, you put certain things in your business first, and you will lose sight of fucking everything. So we want to try and talk to you. Tuck you around some of these traps and get you prepared so that you kind of have some perspective on what you need to move forward with. And what's really important within your business within your brand within your sales, your marketing, your pricing, your coaching all of it. So before we get started, make sure you join the Facebook group link in the description. Make sure you follow the show. That is the gym owners podcast with a capital then not just the gym owners podcast on Instagram. You follow me at Tyler Elphinstone. And you call John follow John at

John Fairbanks 01:24

You can call me anytime. Follow me at Jay banks FL on Instagram. How great with that BASF nickname. And here's John's phone number. The be the coolest name ever.

Tyler 01:36

I'm Tyler but you can call me anytime. Rules. Anyway, You're welcome fellas that might work. Guys, what is optimization, the wrong move or when is optimizing for something the wrong move. We think that in our business that we want to just perform well, right? That it's, we want to make money. I need leads, I need profitability, I need all of those things. And I think for gym owners, I want to put this into context that matters that you're familiar with. So before we put it in the context of your business, let's put it in the context of your fitness you're working out, you could optimize for just strength, you could choose because I'm going to the gym to get stronger. And I can put strength above all things, right? If my goal this year is to get stronger, well, I should probably be 80 pounds heavier, right, I can just lift to none of this, none of that I just eat sleep drugs, whatever I'm going to do. But that's what's going to happen. But at some point, you're not going to be in a position to do all the other things you wanted to do. Right? At some point, there's a line. And I think in all of these processes, we're trying to sort out, it's like, Where's the fucking line here, right, you can't just put on 50 pounds of mass and hope that you're moving weight better, because at some point, we need to move some point we need to breathe at some point, the context of what you're trying to be fit for mate matters, okay. And in your business, that's important as well. We were talking to a gym owner in our gear Academy the other day, and they have a couple of different locations. Each of them run physical therapy, as well as a full on gym and Personal Training Studio in the background. And they've been with us for a while and it's these guys who do really well. But as we're trying to develop more of the personal training side, we start looking into Okay, well are we able to kind of have a solid handoff between the physical, the physical therapy side of the business, to encourage people Hey, now that you're out of here, we want you to be here's kind of our checklist for things we need you to do. And you should maintain a decent body weight, we need to make sure that you're getting stronger or at least not pursuing physical weakness and frailty. And we need to make sure that we're doing some sort of exercise for the sake of your heart. And then of course, whatever other things need to be done for whatever reasons that they're in physical therapy or work. And that handoff is important because I think it's important for the members for those clients really to be successful, as opposed to feeling like they've just been kicked out into the world and then they have to start back over. But there's a line because when we started building some of these processes and working with this gym owner, when we started to realize like man, what would convert the best? What really would it be?

John Fairbanks 04:17

What if nothing else mattered? Like what would crush Yeah, if the only thing

Tyler 04:21

that mattered was that when this person was done with their 2436 Physical Therapy physical therapy sessions that their insurance you need to bring in Alex Hormoz he or one of these fuckin that Andy dipshit looks like he's wearing his wife's pants the bald guy who I hate so much I remember the fucking name the sales guru who just I fucking hate the most, you know, you but one of those guys would come in and and really would crush it. And they really would be like you because we started doing not as something we were planning on doing. But we want to build this out to what is the most, what's gonna do the best and then where do we draw the line? Where do we balance Botha?

John Fairbanks 05:00

And we talked to the gym owner about this. No, this was like you and I like after the fact that like, alright, if we were going to be like scum of the earth, yeah, like what would just crush because you have elderly and women as your predominant people. So it's like, how, how heavy? Could we go in the pain to manipulate and take advantage of the elderly and female,

Tyler 05:24

especially with the one, especially with the trust that you already have as a physical therapist? And they're already there? And at that point? Yeah, I mean, the pitch is pretty fucking, it's pretty easy as well, we need you to get in there to make sure that you know, even though it's going to be an investment, I know insurance paid for that, in the past, insurance isn't going to pay for this. But look, with all the pain, sufferings, you had surgery, all the stuff like, this is a, this is an investment in not going back to that this is this is so that you don't have to see me back here after surgery again, this, by the way, some version of that conversation. A genuine version of that conversation is worth having, as a person that they trust as the person whose authority they respect and expertise they respect. But doing that as your sales pitch is fucking gnarly. But we're going through this and I'm like, you know, all of those bullshit things for overcoming sales versions that we went over a few episodes in the past, all that sales guru shit, close, close, close, close, close, man, that stuff. That's when we decided to talk about this in this episode. Because it's like you, you got to draw a line. And because when we're talking to this gym owner who sees those people every day, and he's a gym owner and a physical therapy, and you know what you call it practice owner, multiple locations. So when we're talking to him about this, it's like, you know, he's pretty guarded about it. It's like, I don't I don't want to be, I can't I can't just go all sales on this because it's going to scum up the vibe, it's and the fact is, is when people are doing a thing that insurance is paying for. And then you're asking them to do a thing that they have to pay for. Some people just simply can't do it. That just simply just so you will be getting told not a lot. And so if you get into just the you know, sales objection, overcoming objections over and over and over and over again, you will become a fucking scumbag. Because you're told not a ton. And so if you just keep pulling that card, well, the reason you're here is because you were weak, and you were out of shape. You're like, now you're fucking Now you're talking. Now you're talking about hormones, the business that just says so sell, sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. And

John Fairbanks 07:38

if you leave me and you don't, you're gonna fall apart. I'm gonna see it like it's you can't afford not to be here with me. Like I got you better. like your life depends upon being here. And if ever there was Netflix, Netflix,

Tyler 07:53

get dude, there's nothing that someone's trying to sell a gym membership or any of these guys don't even Fuck it. This is the truth. None of the dorks, fucking gym, watch some gym memberships, either they're selling some scammy bait and switch fucking challenges and shit. That's not even attached to a brand. So let's not pretend that this is something that isn't. Okay, first off, but like, yes, they are absolutely doing that stuff. Exactly what you just described. That's it? Well, I really don't know. It's pretty expensive. 600 bucks for this? I don't know. I don't know if I can really afford what you pay for Netflix? Right? Why don't you take out your bank statement? And let me go through and see where you're spending your money. How many times you for a fucking gym sale? You're literally asking a person well, how many times do you go out to eat a week? When I see that stuff in marketing for fitness in gyms. I see gyms use that as their marketing strategy. Hey, hiring a coach or going to a gym is expensive. But you know what else is expensive? Cancer or expensive? Going out to eat? How many times a week do you go out to eat? You know how much money that costs? You could spend and but like, it's like, fucking listen, stay in your lane. I understand. They need to fix how they eat, and all of that stuff. But if they're telling you they're not going to join because they can't afford it. What are you going to do? They're not asking you, well, hey, how can you sort out my finances for me? It's not that's not part of the fucking equation.

John Fairbanks 09:20

So tell you like, what did I ever tell you about the time that I went into one of the big franchise gyms. And I was waiting to meet with the owner. And so the GM that was the main guy on site, which is like their main sales guy. I walked in and I'm sitting in his office, and the whiteboard is behind me where he can be on the phone and he can be looking at his whiteboard. And the Netflix line is on the whiteboard. And so I go oh, that Netflix line. Like how does that work? Like how does that work for you? Like is it successful? He goes Oh, dude, he's like, If you used to work at Netflix. So he goes, I just rail on how horrible he goes, it crushes. Like every person that I use it with it just it blows

Tyler 10:14

you find them money, they're worse. They're just telling you no. Or as hard as I did. By the way, if I have to over a gym membership, let's be real. If I had to look at another man and say I can't afford it over something that, let's be honest, is a relatively trivial amount of money. 150 Couples of them matter to some people, right? But if someone is telling you like, I can't afford a couple 100 bucks a month, dude, stay the fuck out of their business dude, at that point. Like, that's, that's the information that I'm not telling. I'm not telling anyone where the line is or what I can and can't afford. And if I've told you that, please respect that. That's fucking nuts. If you go to a party, and you're like, hey, my budget, I've done this before. Here's my budget. And they go in and they just take me to cars that are more expensive. I said, You violated the one fucking thing I laid out for you. There was one, it's got to cost less than this. And you go, well, we don't really have it. Well, then that's the fucking answer. Save my time, save your breath. That was the line, I drew that line. I say I can't afford this. We're going to help me afford it. Fuck off.

John Fairbanks 11:16

The best part was the memberships he was selling Tyler were $1. He's like, and so when you think about it, when like, is it right? It's like, Oh, it's $1 membership and ends up being like 40 bucks or whatever. Yeah. Could you imagine trying to convince someone that they need to stop paying for Netflix so that they can afford your $40 a month membership? Like think about how sleep think about like, folks that are? We all know, like we've all ran into people, we've had friends we've all I definitely was there

Tyler 11:48

poor that most people can not imagine? Right? So like

John Fairbanks 11:51

$40 is going to overdraft the fucking bank fee. Right? And it's and it's could you imagine that you're trying to tell like, that's the population that you're trying to convince or like to swindle into becoming a member of the gym, but you would be terrible. Anyway,

Tyler 12:06

So, that's the thing, right? So is it just closing, closing, closing, closing, when you actually have a practice to and this is what kind of the root of this, they have. I don't want to say that your gym is not a legitimate practice. But I think you need to treat it as such is what I'm saying. Okay, these people have a legitimate professional, professional practice in their community that are getting referrals from hospitals and perfect like, this is a process that's happening. And if you want referral business recommendation, visit all this stuff to come through from people that are gonna vouch for your fucking skills, your professionalism, your humanity, like all of this stuff. You don't get to say, hey, why don't you take out your banking app, then if you forgot your credit card, and I'll just get your routing number off of there. Now, bitch, they just told you no, you fucking dork move on. It's crazy that so some of those sales stuff I just hate. Because it will eventually violate the trust. And if John, if you recommended to me that I go meet with somebody about this thing, oh, they do some pretty cool stuff. And I am put into one of those conversations. I don't want to be mad at you. And I will then tell everyone I know whoever says anything about it like, yeah, don't fucking go there, dude, just don't, do not. And that's, there's another. So that's that's that story, right? We don't want them to be in a situation where it's high pressure, high pressure, it's got to be thorough. Their process needs to be thorough, it needs to be conversational, it also needs to be something physical that they can take with there needs to be an opportunity for their staff on the other side of the business to follow up with them. If they're given a hard yes, that needs to be sent over as a lead right away that needs to, they need to be met up very, very quickly. The scheduling needs to be sorted out, right? Like these things need to be done fast. But if you're told no or told, maybe you can't ride them that hard, if you're a fucking doctor in there, you just you really can't. So what they need to do is make sure they get something sent home with them that they know after they've kind of had a quick conversation, what we recommend that you do and that you can do some of these things here. Your time slots available you can do without a coach or with the coach or coaches will be kind of brought up to speed by so it's a nice valuable thing for them to oh cool, I can continue to pursue this. That is a solid pathway, then they need to be followed up even if it's a no follow up with a simple email. But these processes do need to be built. So does it mean that we just let it go. Because if we let it go, we're only relying on the charisma discipline, whatever sales acumen or just general skill of all of your staff, so it will not be standardized. It will not be successful across the board. Some will sink, others will swim and your business just simply you guys have if you guys have staff, there's one thing I'm going to tell you: You cannot rely on the talent of the people that you have. Because it's not going to be uniform, you will have some very talented people. But businesses that can't scale can't grow and can't do new things are ones that rely on the talent of their people. Because what they cannot do then is systemized success. And if they get someone who's less talented, which is if you've been in the fucking hiring pool lately, I hate to break it to you. There's a lot of pretty untalented people that need to be kind of put in a box, taught some things and develop, they can't just come in and be socially normal. The internet has made a lot of people's brains fucking good. You know what I mean? Gotta come in and be able to like, You got to teach them how to do this stuff. And we get so worried about them not being good. Well, it's kind of on you to create a playground for them in which they can be successful.

John Fairbanks 15:49

And everything you just described, right? Are there those systems and standardization? Yeah, right. You have to have those systems in place to anticipate the fluctuating wave-like reality of people's own abilities. Yeah. But I think the heart and the crux of what we're really driving at is you cannot start systemizing, standardizing or optimizing, you cannot do any of those things. If you are not, well, excuse me, you cannot standardize or systemize if you have not optimized for the right thing. Because if you are optimizing because here's the reality like we were talking about, you could have a physical therapy business and a physical therapy business be or gym a gym be one optimized to make money, cutthroat burn the boats, and the other one wants clients to be successful. And when people that have a great experience as a client at their facility, those two Northstars what you standardize, and then what your systems you are that you're putting in place, will allow those two businesses to look and feel radically different for the client.

Tyler 17:08

There's two different car dealerships in town. And I actually kind of like the owners of both of them here. Or there's more than two, not that small town. But obviously, when you go to look up a used car on the internet, John, everybody uses essentially the same website system, right? Almost all right, you look for it's sort of the same, like it's the same structure. But there's one of them that is truly they do not negotiate on prices. That is their bottom price. That is it. Right? Whether it's higher, and it doesn't matter. For me personally. That's where I buy all of my shit. If I'm buying cars locally, I don't like bartering. I don't like it seems disingenuous, it just seems like bullshit. So the fact that what's on the window is what I'm going to pay. And it's not really a thing that we're going to have a conversation about. And that is the system. And that system is nice. There's another we'll go through here. There's another car dealership in town. Same everything, right? Same websites, same old stuff, except, unspoken. You go in and you go to this little wiggle room on the price. So you have to do the game or you're going to spend more money to haggle. And that is in my opinion, terrible fucking business. It's just it's like how are we pretending that this is okay as adults, right? Like adults in America and 2024 We're just going Can I Can you take a little off? Oh, let me go talk to my manager. And there's like, because they know every bit over a certain point sweetens up their deal. Just kind of does. Then there's a third one and it's newer. And I know the owners and I've worked for and I know the owners of all three of these places so nuts shitting on them as humans but I used to coach one of these new ones and they are new, they're very successful and work really well. Very slick branding he bought he bought very he bought a very thorough system in his marketing system and his lead follow up and CRM like everything really is fucking thorough, in that I don't get to go to the website and look at the inventory. Unless I enter in my name, my email and my phone number. I can't describe to you how much I hate that. When I first moved back from Europe though I was like, you know, I know this guy. I trust this. I do. I trust this guy. I prefer what I had to buy cars. I moved back to the States and got to buy some cars. It's America. Like, I was like, I'd rather buy a car from him because I knew him, I coached him, he gave me a business. I trust him. I go through that and look fine. Put in the fucking stuff. And I get an automated text message. It's obviously automated. And then I get a call then I get emails but this is all like after once I clicked into start looking at the inventory you see the vehicles John there's no prices How about that? So what fucking good does any of this do me? Yeah, because what is the main factor? In a vehicle whether or not I was not interested in it I think it's cool, but whether or not I'm even considering buying it is price right? There's no point if you know it is an SUV truck like type of vehicle, price and mileage are the only factors that matter to me. And the most important is price, that's what gets the deal done to have that be not going to come and talk to us. That's fucking rates. So I was out I got texted and called between those two platforms alone probably 15 times in 48 hours it's fucking crazy dude. To the point was like, as these are people, these are I have coached people out there that work there like not just the owner. And it's like, Man, this sucks. I have to avoid your business like the fucking plague. They just don't want to deal with that stuff. I gave it some time, swore I was never gonna use the website again. But I still like him. I want to chat with him or you know a while ago, and I want to look for another viva. So I'm gonna go through a lot, then. Back to the lot, guess what? No prices there either. Cars, you go talk to salesmen, and give them a price range. You know what they do, John, every day, they pull an updated market price. Because you know, the market fluctuates so much day to day. I was like, oh, so we're playing in fake numbers now. Yeah, like true fakes can imaginary motherfucker. Now by the way, the reason all the systems are the way they are, is they are purely optimized for conversion for getting the most out of every sale for making sure the person who inquires is getting the every opportunity that they get to close that loop. Grand as law. But the problem is, if a lot of people would have casually perused your stuff I would have become informed. You're withholding all the information that matters. And all you're doing is fucking trying to run through people. And it sucks. And I kind of can't do business with them. I just kind of can't. And it's optimized for things that matter. But it's optimized for shit to an extreme. There's always a line and that line, I believe in every law, every incentive, every policy, every process that exists in humanity. The line is what really matters, John, do I believe that as an American, we can? Oh, we should own guns? Yes, I do. And if you don't like that, you might be listening to Roger Moore's podcast. What do I believe that I should be able to own a shoulder mounted rocket launcher? Well, that might be somewhere on another side of that line? I'm not sure. Can I own a surface to air missile? Why would I need a surface to Airmen that might be across the line? From my right. I don't know. But somewhere in there is a line. And that line is actually what really matters. It really is. Like, I get that we probably have to pay taxes. Where's the line? It's the line that we should be arguing for unless fundamentally something is wrong. So in this business, say they take the car dealership example. There is a line and each of these businesses has chosen a different line, each of those issues and but what they how they selected that position, their position on each of those lines on each of those issues. That is what each of those businesses now businesses are that business is that system, as far as I'm concerned. Now. My thoughts are that businesses I am now subjected to that system. That's a no. The other one that I'm subjected to what I gotta fucking haggle with some shit. What's the point of putting the price on the fucking thing? If I got to ask my way down and then how far can I tell him to play this shit? I'm not some third world country flea market here. This is not what we're fucking doing. And the other one who's like, Yeah, this is our price. Well, they've decided that that will probably cost them some money. It probably cost them and by the way, not having that follow up system be so nasty. It probably cost them some leads. It probably does. But Jesus Christ is it easy for me to do business with dealer number a,

John Fairbanks 24:15

An ease to do business with is definitely going to be a thing where for us to put priority? Yeah. Is that for us in our world? How easy is it for someone to come in and do business with you? And I think that is an interesting thing to kind of flesh out, which is the domino effect that comes from like these three businesses that you've described, what they have made their business to be about. Now, the domino effect is what are the types of people that they can hire? So what are the types of salespeople that are required? Right for a situation where every single sales opportunity is a high pressure sales they don't know the price and

Tyler 24:59

people and almost against their will Jesus Christ, can I just look at the cars. And

John Fairbanks 25:04

then option B is you have to be prepared to haggle. So how comfortable? Are you going back and forth in that haggle situation all the way to the other end of the spectrum that you described, which is how easy would it be to be a salesperson when all prices are the lowest and final offer. And now it's almost like you're just going to facilitate crabby purchasers towards where they want.

Tyler 25:29

I am a friendly concierge just helping you towards choices. These are your options, here's what we can do, man. Now, at that point, are we trying to sell or they're trying to sell fucking, you know, once you go to buy, are they trying to sell you?

John Fairbanks 25:43

You know, a warranty or

Tyler 25:44

warranty? Maybe maybe the undercoating. So, of course, listen, that's all part of the and let me let me also make sure that I make this very clear. Each of those three car dealerships are wildly successful, the owners, their staff, for the most part, the owners, man, they'll do very well. So none of them are starving. But what do you want your fucking business to be? What do you optimize for and at some point, over a long enough timeline, there will be opportunities that are left behind and maybe in your market. By the way, maybe in your market, it's important that you fill a different spot than somebody else. That is another thing here. One of the things I want to get to as well. So this is, again, chasing the wrong metrics. Dealer number three, with all the complicated hyper thorough processes, and follow up systems, man, they are not letting any traffic to the website fall through the crack. It really is. They're optimized fully. For the end, that's basically probably what they're selling these car dealers, these dealership owners on is that like, you will get 1000 phone numbers a day from people wanting cars. And you just got to play the big game that plays the big game and stuff works and sells cars. This it works if you're selling fucking bait and switch fitness challengers does. But that doesn't really work. When you're talking about fitness that works that is optimized around client success and client results. Because when a client is going to get results, the initial investment is important. If it is too cheap, if it's too little, they don't have any skin in the game, it's easy for someone to throw 100 bucks at a problem and then go have fun going to the gym is hard. I don't care. Right? So as I'm okay with something being expensive, I'm okay with that. But for them to truly be successful, they cannot be coerced into making that initial investment. They need to be bought in every day, every step of the way all the time. You cannot just you can't do that to them because they will not be successful. And then you will be at the gym where people go and don't get results. You'll just be another thing where people slap some money on your desk fucking every once in a while. And what's the general reputation about your gym? You got to know what they want?

John Fairbanks 27:55

Or is it's I was tricked by the trilogy?

Tyler 27:59

Or who your contract fucking? Yeah. Yeah, that sucks. So the other thing about this is on the staffing side of things, right, the big thing we talked about is preserving the reputation, the professionalism, the brand of a lot of these physical therapists, right in this clinic, right. And so that's important. But if the other business, the business doing well is important as well, but you cannot just be pushing them into becoming salespeople, right? They cannot, we can, we can give them a system and give them a thing that is balanced in that that bounces, who they are with what we need from them. But that's what's going to be a beautiful system is one that does that, not one that just converts the most. Because one of the things that can happen, you can burn out your staff, right? By the way, if my coaches are doing semi private personal training, and then they run in, say three to four clients at a time. Right? That's very profitable for them. That's very profitable for me, right? What if I scheduled them for four of those hours in a row? Right? An hour break and then another four hours? Mentally, that's exhausting. That's a lot of juggling to do like eight sessions, especially when there's multiple people per session and you're trying to give individual attention. You're trying to socialize, you're trying to make it interesting. Those coaches will burn out. Do you care? Or are you going to constantly try to fill that cup because that's the cup where the money comes in? Right? There's always a line that you need to draw. And one of the things I noticed speaking of that, fucking Andy, salesman dipshit viral guy that really only only is on my feet and not yours. Thank God, I must just hate watching enough of it. I see it. I didn't watch it anymore. But they brought his wife and saw Delia, they brought his wife on. Apparently he's married and this is the crazy it sounds like his wife is fucking insane as he is. And so she was saying how much time you give your kids cuz like, his whole thing is he'll come up and be like, you know, he's like if someone put he's literally says, someone came up, put a gun to your head says I'm gonna kill you and I'm gonna kill your family. Unless you triple your sales numbers there is nothing to do. Of course you'd be able to do it. We'll just do that, like fuck off. His wife hops up. I give her a fucking microphone now and she looks as fucking whatever fake tan and coked up as possible to like these people are just making it

John Fairbanks 30:30


Tyler 30:31

This is crazy. Yeah, this is this is these people are that China and X pack of fucking salespeople. It's not like who's taken this seriously. But she goes up. She's like, how much time do you give your kids? I know it's visible. And she's like, can we give him a couple 100 She goes a couple hours. Couple hours. It's a lot of time. I give my kids 20 minutes. I give them 20 minutes. But for that 20 minutes, I'm a different person. I say first off, I hope so. The second thing to say is like for the sake of your business, just only see your kids for 20 minutes.

John Fairbanks 31:08

Could you imagine what the fuck? You'd lead with that? Lawyers?

Tyler 31:13

That's listen, if you haven't heard that you are having a hard time making sales, making things work and you make more money. Just listen, your kids don't fucking need you. But 20 minutes a day. Just really be there for that. 20 minutes. Yeah, that's gonna fucking work. Who's gonna get them places Stephanie, or whatever fucking name is. Anyway, I saw that I was about to be thrown into a blind fit of rage students. That's all I could do. But

John Fairbanks 31:37

but here's the thing though, like if you're not careful, and you as a business owner, as a fitness, fitness business, individual, personal trainer, coach, whatever, gym owner. And all you want to do is you're just you're trying to do better, you know, you want to do better. If you know that one, two is there, if you're not careful, and you're just gonna go and get advice from whoever and you want to invest. If those are the motherfuckers that you're investing in, what do you think they're going to have you optimize your shit for? Like there is a fundamental piece where like the people that you're listening to, if you got to pay attention, like, what are they saying? about all the things like where do you connect with them fundamentally across multiple avenues? Because it does bleed over? Like it bleeds over into all these different elements. So you have to be able to just like we keep coming back to, which is, what do you want to be like? What do you want to be known for?

Tyler 32:39

And also, on the coaching thing, this is what we had this conversation with TJ, but you're the way you're having people workout, right? Whether your personal training, or whether you're having classes your programming is, are you optimized for outcomes? Right? Are you optimized for risk versus reward, right? That risk versus reward, in my opinion, is the single most important calculation that every coach should do in how they select exercises, how they choose a training methodology, what they choose for each client to do should be, what are we risking, and what what's the fastest or whatever the best outcome we can get for this client. The problem is, for the most part, most coaches take into account injury risk, essentially, what is just injury risk. And we'll just do whatever we can do, it's not gonna hurt them, that'll get them the results that they need. They need conditioning to get stronger and do this. So maybe a smart coach is I'm not gonna have him rip and fucking barbell snatches and clean and jerks and a bunch of overhead squats and kipping pull ups and all this shit. Because this is a general population who doesn't need that kind of wear and tear, they get plenty of good exercise without blocking their shit up. Right? Yeah. That is a level one, right? In my opinion, that is like the first level of like, being a coach is knowing how to do that math, and actually caring about that math, because when you're a level zero coach, you're just stuffing clients through your methodology. And that's kind of what happened with what's going on at a lot of CrossFit gyms and now the education that kind of had come through that as teachers, really the risk versus reward that you're supposed to scale. I don't know how to scale but well, how there are more options here, more exercise selections, here's how to program a little bit better. But it's not just injury, risk versus progress. That's the problem, right? That's like one piece. And do they ever factor in because you'll see them the most optimized coaches, the people with like the most we talked about this, that the guys are the most functional training, or the biggest movement experts. And it's like, none of their shit is fun, or funny or interesting, or even just cool, because by the way, feeling cool and feeling like you're doing something cool. Matters, too. I had a fuck. I talked to a guy who's a client. I used to coach and we're sort of a spot where they do plenty of like sandbag training and stuff like that, because it's it's functional. I'm all about not using barbells where it doesn't need to be used, but it's guys like if I got to fucking come in and just squat a fucking sandbag, every time we squat, I still give a fuck. You get to a point, people are gonna hate the tools that you use when you use them too much. I heard that yesterday from a guy literally, like, I'm tired of this fucking sandbags, dude. And it's like, that's the thing, is there enough variety to keep it interesting. Because the truth is, if I want somebody to let's just say in the squat bench and deadlift, right or whatever, I want somebody strong, what they need to do is kind of the same stuff over and over again, when varying rep structures, but they need to get good at those exercises, and they need to get loaded the accessories, and then need to work hard at those same exact things kind of to move those things forward. That's how you get better at them. I'm not going to get better at jiu jitsu, boxing, right? So I need to progress with those things. But what ends up happening is, you try to stay in that lane, well, you got to stay with the basics, and you got to do this thing, and you got to do this and this this, then nobody has any fucking fun, and every day is boring. And everything's the same as it was before. And if when you see a training program where it's super repetitive, that's why you're gonna move on to something else. Like people say that program hopping is like, it's a terrible thing for people to do. If someone is hopping from one program to the next, what they're choosing is being interested in the things they're doing in the gym, over optimization. Yeah, that's a choice they're choosing to make. That doesn't mean they're fucking wrong, you are judging them. When you're a coach who goes to school, we got to stick to the program this whole time, like over if you're programming a six week block, and you need them to do it over and over and over and over again, like you can't get mad at them after 18 weeks of wanting to do something different. Well, you're not going to get as good at these things. If you don't do it, you know, stick with it, but they don't want that, they don't want the outcome at the expense of it being fun to do. Because if the cost of this desirable outcome of getting stronger, getting fitter is me being fucking miserable and bored doing the same shit that I don't really like that much three hours a week for 18 straight weeks. If I don't want to play golf, I'd rather have less results. I really would. I'd rather have a little fun and just we'll get there a little bit further down the line. It's okay, slow down the pace. Let me enjoy myself here.

John Fairbanks 37:21

Do you feel like that being dogmatic like that, because that's ultimately what it is right? No matter what it is, whether it's a certain being stuck in your ways. And being that old crotchety guy which is the only way you do it, you're gonna run five through one until the cows come home? Yeah, that's it, right? If it's not five by five strong lifts, then I'm not doing it. Right, whatever it's gonna be. It's it's just the lack of getting out and fucking looking at anything else.

Tyler 37:49

Yeah, like you just,

John Fairbanks 37:50

It's just a lack of experience. Because you're not you're not out you're not being exposed to anything else. Anything new. It's one of the biggest problems that we've always seen with a lot of gym owners where it's like, how many gyms have you been to?

Tyler 38:03

Oh, my God, or how many other people's classes have you taken?

John Fairbanks 38:06

I Really like it because I dealt with it as a teacher, like, on the teaching side, it was really important for my staff, you need to shadow another teacher that works in this school, you need to go see how they teach, go see what they do. And you need to look at it. Because for me as an administrator, I would shadow everybody and try to help and fix whatever I saw. But everybody else doesn't. They don't get to see those reps. They don't get this view as a third party observer would be like, Oh, that's actually pretty cool. Like, I liked the way that I've been taught that I had a fucking chemistry teacher that taught for 45 minutes with his back to the class. Nice. We never turned from the white. I was like, what?

Tyler 38:52

In the late 90s

John Fairbanks 38:53

I'm like, Captain, that's what we need because we're the military . We need this one move. Just need you to open your shoulders and still be able to write on the board. While seeing these, like, the kids had so much time that they were able to do like one of those fucking Dance Challenge bullshit things like fuck, like, I don't know if right, like slow down for what or whatever the fucking song. They would like get crunk, all of a sudden, the kids were able to film themselves, because we fucking saw it. Right? And this is when they get on their desks and do the fucking dance and they get back down and seated and he had not turned oh my god dammit, Katherine grant, so we got to fix this man. We can't be not looking at the glass. But that's the equivalent of I think a lot of these and the problem is, I do blame you if you have coaches that are dogmatic. That's up to you as a gym owner to fix that. Yeah, like you, you have to help these people as well. Whatever their varying levels are, and then if you're too dogmatic or you don't know, you gotta get the fuck out, dude. Like go.

Tyler 40:06

There's a. So a really good example of this context because as having trained in martial arts gyms now for a couple of years, one of the things that we see is like when people teach Jiu Jitsu, it's so complicated that people make it fucking really goddamn boring. And they're like, the first thing you need to learn when you come in, is you're like, when you come in and people go, what is jujitsu? What do I need to do? How's it going? What most people do is make you sit in somebody's closed guard, which is kind of the gayest situation you're gonna be in. But it's like, they act like this, because it's some fundamental thing. And like, you learn to pass the guard. They don't know what any of those things are. And granted, a lot of the game is I need to get past your legs and get to these other stuff. It's so optimized for like, the fundamental understandings of these things, when people start to think outside the box all of a sudden, so there's a conversation I listened to. If you want to hear this in depth, it's actually really really quiet. I'm gonna send it to you too, because it's worth listening to, but it will translate to you as a coach so you will really understand what they're getting at. There's a guy named Preet Mickelson. I think it's pretend svelte but anyways, podcasts with called BJJ mental models. He is like a defensive jiu jitsu guy. He's manufactured, been ripped on because he teaches literally just like, keep yourself balled up and say it not that that should be your whole game. But that's the part of the game that he knows best. So when he's doing a seminar, that's the stuff he's teaching. So people rip on this guy, to the point where they seem like he just makes people do boring, uninteresting rounds, where you just can't do anything. They just clam up, right? That's his reputation, right? Do you know what he teaches at his academy for brand new people, your first 20 sessions, they're there for their intro class. It's a rotating 20 classes, each class is a brand new submission. That's it, that's all I can go off, right? So it's not coming in and going, Hey, I'm gonna learn how to choke somebody. Perfect. Now we're gonna put you nuts to buds with this guy, and he's gonna wrap his legs around you. And you're gonna get comfortable with that real quick. It's like, no. So what you do is you teach with the idea of like, you coaches know this to some degree, you got to throw in a little bit of what they need, or sugar, a little bit of sugar, right? You get with $1 Bill and some peanut butter rapid some ham, we got to throw it out and whatever, right. But in this case, the truth is, the context matters. One, they got to stay with it for a really fucking long time. So you're not going to inspire somebody to fucking real. This is why the retention rates I think are really bad. And jujitsu generally, is that like, you're not inspiring a lot of people to stick around. But one of the examples he gave us, you give two brand new people, and you put them in half guard, top and bottom guard, right, and you're just like, they don't understand that that's the thing that exists in a fight, that that's a situation that exists in a fight, or what's going on. So then trying to explain how to get out of or what any of that matters, there is no context. So you get to a point where you teach someone how to choke somebody from behind, then all of a sudden, they go, Well, look, what controls do, I need, oh, I need to have the legs here, I need to have this. All of a sudden, they're able to reverse engineer something. So then when they start to actually train and roll live, yeah, they're gonna have a hard time passing the guard, they're gonna have a hard time getting to an attack. But guess what that means? Then they're gonna go, how do I get out of this fence, and legs. Now I want to know this. And it empowers them to know this. So it's a very bad conversation. I don't know. It's like a maybe like a month ago, but BJJ mental models of the car if you give a fuck about it at all. Fortunately, it's pretty Mickelson's, one of my favorite people there in that he thinks in a way that's willing to just think systematically. And he's not married to this idea that he's been doing for about two years in his academy. And he's just working on the data. But what he has found is that injury rates are way down. People aren't getting hurt. Do you know why? Because of the water, most new people get hurt. They don't know whether bucking is dangerous, so they don't tap. They don't realize that. So instead, if you don't get to teach kids about guns, and never put a foot never like put the gravity of the situation in their mind, right? Those people who don't know anything about shooting guns have never trained about shooting a gun and know that whole process. Those are people that are dangerous, accidentally shooting somebody, someone who's trained and really knows the deal and might like, you know, my kids respect firearms, to the point where Christ more than I ever did as a kid, you know, because I was just left to the wall. It was just out and about. So I just think that's important as you're building your coaching philosophy, and also when you're empowering your coaches and teaching new coaches, that a coach will find a new piece of information, a new exercise or a new strategy or whatever. And they need to know that it's not about strategy. It's about this person. And are we optimized for the long term? Are we optimized so that these people will enjoy this enough to stay? Because do you know John, what The difference is between someone who is good at jiu jitsu three years from now and one who's not someone who stays in jujitsu and keeps training, that's essentially this, we're there. That's a guarantee that if you just kind of come for three years, you will be better at it, you really well, if you're just showing up, you'll get there, you'll just get there. But if it's so boring, you quit. You might as well never fucking done it, you really, you've got nothing out of the deal. Nothing. And one of the aspects that he talks about is when then when you're rolling with brand new white belts, they're like, they either know how to hunt you, because that's the only thing they know. So like, and their details are not perfect, but they're like on the attack, and then you're able to play a larger, wider game, or they really know how to shut you down. Because they know if you have the details, they know I don't want my arm here. So all of a sudden, it's more productive for everybody, and nobody's getting hurt, and they're having fun. And they're optimized for not just, we need to make sure we build the base exclusively, we have to build the base, we need to understand the base. And if you don't know how to get out of Mount and you don't know how to get out of bottom mount and you don't know how to do this, well, you know, you're gonna be bad at wrestling, you're gonna end up on your back. So you might as well start your training in that cave. But again, for me to be better in three years, if 90% of people quit. Maybe 90% of people quit because you're teaching the wrong fucking order. Okay, if you are dogmatic about the order, exactly. If you teach at a youth basketball camp, okay. And it's a three day camp. For two days, you don't put a basketball in the kids hands. I mean, them kids by the third day of explicably. Me: Home dad, right?

John Fairbanks 46:38

Right. If you're not playing games, by the end of the first day, you're gonna have kids not showing up by the third day. Like it needs to be

Tyler 46:46

for sure. I think people think fitness and coaching and strength training and whatever weight loss all of that stuff, they think it's not like these other things. And it just absolutely is. So that's the question, what are you optimizing for? And what do we always say, John, there's balance. And all these things need to be optimized for client experience client results. Now what gets your clients the best results, they have to be invested. So it shouldn't be so cheap. And it shouldn't be for the quantity of clients. Because then what you'll just be cheaper. So it's okay that you optimize for client results, and know that your business needs to be open and that you need to turn a real fucking profit. And you need to be fed so that you can hire staff so you can help more people. And that the whole system is about choosing your business will be where you draw the lines on each of those priorities. And that is the DNA of your business. That's what I believe.

John Fairbanks 47:43

I think it also comes down to something simple, which is fun. Reset it now a couple of times, but it's like it's, are your clients having fun? Are your coaches having fun coaching the clients? And are you allowing a space for your coaches to have fun while they're at work? Like it almost could be as simple as that? Like, are you optimized for fun because this was another thing that we talked about with DJ, which was the fucking chick who's like, whatever doing whatever but everybody loves her. She's always sold out. Because she people are just having fun working with probably fun sight and, and I think it comes back to your jujitsu example, which is, who's better the person that doesn't train for three years, or trains for three years, you're not going to just slog through shit, and do boring as fuck and stuff that you don't enjoy, and you're not having fun. For three years, you're just not, there has to be at some point where you're like, this is fun. I like this. I'll keep sticking with it. And I think that sticking with it, Miss. It's almost as simple as just is it? Is this fun or not? You're

Tyler 48:52

Here's a perfect example of why doing this the wrong way. What this is like, we have a young man who has been with us for a few months now. And he's good. A good kid trains are good training partner to not like a fucking psycho kid who's out trying to, you know what I mean? Like a good kid is there to learn. He's there. He's really there to learn. Were there like a small group session? There's just a handful of us. So the SEC, what do you guys want to work on today? And I will always always defer to the new guys. What do you want to do, let's do something for them, whatever they kind of need, right? Well, on his very first day, and I was like, He's brand new. I knew the kid so like, let's get him whatever. He kind of things. What should we do for him? Let's get him up to speed. What do they do John? Put them in someone's guard. Pass the guard.


That's all he wanted. This

Tyler 49:35

the kid stuck it out for a few months, right? This week. On Monday. We're there again in a small group in the morning. I say Yo, what do you think? What do you want to do? What are you gonna put together? And he goes, Yeah, I'd like to maybe like some sort of like, you know, maybe like arm submission because we've done a little bit of armbar stuff, but are there some other arm attacks that could work on? You don't let the coach said the coach said this one most frustrating things I've ever had to witness, by the way, the coach goes, well, you know, you probably that's Yeah, but you know, you probably won't be able to like finish much, especially if you don't understand how to get there. So, you know, we did, John pulled him right back into full guard, now learning how to pass the guard. And then from there, it's like, bro, the person said what they want to do, you had nobody that was going to fuck an object, if it's out of order. And as good as fun, this kid's gonna stay. Right? If it's in the best, most optimized sequence for what you think you should learn, and by the way, him and a lot of these other coaches, they don't. They had to teach themselves. So they may have attended less total actual classes of jujitsu than I do in a week. Understand what I mean? Right? Training sessions and learning off instructions, but this is not. So you can see how misguided that is. And it's the same thing when people come in wanting to lose weight, and you do a movement assessment, and you make it about their fucking hip, fucking flexion and their shoulder rotation and all this other stuff. It's like, no, fuck off, I want the weight off. We'll do this as a part of the process. But if this weight staying on because you're making me do a bunch of stupid shit to fix some fucking metric that you've decided is important. Again, what we're talking about is a good heart law when a metric becomes a target. When a measure becomes a target, the target is no longer a good metric. And at this point, once we start moving it that we're moving away from the thing I got in here for and so you're rearranging their targets that kid did not join his jiu jitsu to learn how to pass a guard. Because he didn't know what a fucking guard is. So he'll get that eventually, but he'll became to strangle people give him some fucking people to strangle a little bit and then we'll work our way back. But you gotta play the bigger picture. What's the three year plan for this person? What Did that need to look like? Are they supposed to be bored as fuck for a year with you? Yet while you pepper in some interesting shit, can it just be interesting? His life's not on the line tomorrow? I know what I mean. And if it is always good to know is how to what has the guard I didn't do last year guard and then what the fuck? Even part of it's being dangerous. Now these people aren't even dangerous. They can't even go home and explain to their friends . How bad is that for referrals? What do you do is I don't know just nuts to butts with somebody and try to wrestle with sucks man, he

John Fairbanks 52:32

sweats in my face always

Tyler 52:34

tries to kill me at the end of every class.

John Fairbanks 52:38

We're getting a lot of jujitsu examples. And it's totally fair, right?

Tyler 52:41

That's all. Autism, steroids.

John Fairbanks 52:46

All I do, guys.

Tyler 52:47

I hope that you guys can see the carryover that we're explaining here. Yeah, we do have

John Fairbanks 52:52

a carryover example that I just remembered. I have not thought about this. Because obviously I tried to block it out. Yeah, we do. And so a True Gym example from a gym owner. Tyler, do you remember? We weren't in charge of doing anything, but we were in charge of selling it. So we had to sell it and support it through social media because that was what you and I did in this business. There was a gym owner. That was part of our crew that taught a deadlift event like a workshop. That was for deadlifting that had no fucking deadlifting in it. No, there was no and I remember. I remember it got done. And I never saw the guy that's the boss, right? So for you gym owners, you are the boss. And you have someone that works under you that says they want to do an event in a camp or whatever. The boss did not prove what was going to be taught. He just heard about the deadlift workshop. Awesome. And I remember when the boss you saw because we filmed it right we're filming it so we can sell

Tyler 53:59

video production of this thing. Yeah, it goes about that.

John Fairbanks 54:04

Hold on. He goes Hold on. He goes, was this a deadlifting workshop? When did they deadlift? Like when were they actually like oh well no, we were building up like the all of

Tyler 54:18

the muscles and structures and movement patterns that need to go into it deadlifts and so people paid you for deadlift seminar and it endeavors it


definitely seem

Tyler 54:30

to be better buried.

John Fairbanks 54:33

We buried it right that thing went away that we never got to sell it. It was just for the folks that came to that one thing. And then it was just a big one. And I don't know how much learning there was because of tourism, but there weren't a whole lot of learning moments for me, certainly there was one. If you're the boss, you need to have fucking proof what's about to be taught and to how far up our own asked Do we have to be to where if I signed up for a deadlifting workshop and you're not going to act. Let me die. I'm not gonna deadlift. Like how, who's signing up for the next workshop? SWAT workshop? We're going to do the SWAT one next

Tyler 55:10

things and accessories and hamstring curls and leg extensions and cats. Yeah, that's fucking nuts. Absolutely no, good.

John Fairbanks 55:17

No, you're fine.

Tyler 55:18

But that thing that was one of those things where we didn't even know that we it was like, Okay, this will be great. They were sold. So we sent a videographer. I mean, like, flew him as fucking nuts. So yeah, but that's what happens when you like, give somebody the like, you say that, Oh, this is what you want. We're gonna stick with what's most by the way, what those people did that day, is probably all of the prerequisites that you should be very good at before you're going to deadlift it really is if you are good enough to do those things like really proficient with those things, you will be able to deadlift safely and safely and for the long term, but to be able to sign up for that already, like deadlifting. And they're probably already doing it in some capacity along a spectrum of high risk to low risk, right. But somewhere in there, nobody's doing it perfectly. But they're there because they want to deadlift. And to just be like to just call it that and have it not be any of it was one of the more embarrassing things and I'm glad I wasn't there in person because I got to be there. Oh, you were there. I

John Fairbanks 56:22

I don't know why I was here. I was here. I was there. I got to go to the gym with the coach and his assistant coach. So I was there for it. My wife and I were Oh, because we were on vacation. Yeah, it was when Amy and I went overseas just to hang out and it just happened to a band. Same time that they're running the workshop and we got to be there. That's why I had not thought about it. And so did you feel

Tyler 56:45

at the end of the room? At the end of the day? Was everybody there massive? What, after this or what I mean, it was these are Dutch people that's how like they're gonna complain if something they don't like something

John Fairbanks 57:04

they kind of just went like they went with it. But when we really realized there was a problem, there was actually a bigger play at hand. That was the was the was the gym that it was at was ran by guy that, you know, whose brother like was and was like kind of big into the fucking thing or whatever. And it was like, almost 100% positive that it ended like it was just like, No, this was bad. Like what you guys did here was bad. Like it was not good is not at all.

Tyler 57:43

If I would have been there it would have been we're putting the bars on the ground. Let's go. I don't know what we're doing here. You guys. I don't care. I'm deadlifting. Today, I

John Fairbanks 57:50

i didn't come here, not to somebody but I was just the email guy like the guy that helped everything on the back end. So it was like, Okay, well, this looks fun. You guys are doing a lot of cool things. It looks like I don't know.

Tyler 58:02

But there's a line, right? It is about you as a coach and a business owner, it is a little bit okay, you're a part of this equation, what you want, how you want to live the things you want to teach, all the stuff that you absolutely are. But you are a part of that equation. And you are not paying yourself money. So the people who are coming in and providing money for your services fucking matter to a lot, frankly, more than you. You know. So like, somewhere in there, you need to find balance. So that's what this is. Get out there, find a balance, figure out where the line is on your stuff, because that is the DNA of your business. That'll do it. Make sure you follow the show at the gym owners podcast on Instagram. Follow me at Tyler F unsewn. John,

John Fairbanks 58:40

and follow me at Jay banks at Bell are we going to talk about the M four challenge. We want to put that out there? It's probably already out there. This

Tyler 58:46

is gonna join us up too late for this as well. Because this week, two episodes behind. This will not come out in January. Well

John Fairbanks 58:53

then keep an eye out for February. February.

Tyler 58:56

Yes, well, we're doing everything right. Yes, well, yeah, it's good. I don't want to get too specific. So the first one, so we're going to issue a new challenge, it's gonna have a, let's be real, it's just going to look like that fucking, like you're 75 hard or any of those other like 30 Day checklist shit, right? But instead of it being a long convoluted list of bunches of different things where it feels like we're just bossing you around, there's gonna be one specific focus that you need to do five days a week, for a month. That's kind of that's the gist of it. I'd like you guys to get involved in this challenge. The first month sort of late for seeing this now is going to be everyday and you just follow up with the lead, find a lead follow up with one whether it's one that's come in, or one that's a client who left or somebody who was a leader told you know before one follow up per day, and I want you to just kind of start to see like what that specific focus kind of effort can do with your business. And there's going to be a separate challenge that we're going to run each month. So M for challenge and for stands for making money monthly making money most challenging

John Fairbanks 59:53

making money moves

Tyler 59:57

that will make money moves. Alright, so keep an eye And that's me on Instagram, I'd like to have you guys really participate, you screenshot the deal and post it to your story. As a gym owner, I think we want to get some we want to get you guys doing some of the things that we emphasize with the people that pay us to have worked with them and we want to give you guys a here's our focus, just do this shit, because that's what we do in the gear Academy is you're going to focus on this customized piece of your business this week, check back in here's what we're doing next week. And this allows you to kind of get an idea of something to hold you accountable to some of these things and steps to do and once you really see the impact of some of that consistent effort on the right things, I think you're really going to be impressed with the way your business starts to change shape. So thanks a lot for listening. Everybody go to gym owners And the link in the show notes will take you to the gym owners revolution Facebook group

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